Monday, April 11, 2016

Free Phone Service via the Internet

One of my arguments against the Utility User Tax is that it burdens neighbors disproportionately for the same privilege of accessing city services simply based on the choices one makes regarding utilities.

I, for example, pay very little toward this tax, but I avail myself of the same city services as those who pay considerably more. I drive on the same roads, visit the same library, call upon the same police and paramedic services.

The reason I don't pay much toward the UUT is because I happen to utilize technology that can't effectively be taxed.

For TV and video I use an over the air antenna and an Internet connection. For mobile phone service I use a no-contract, wi-fi capable, cell phone that allows me to make and receive free voice over Internet calls.

For my home phone and office phone I use voice over Internet calling exclusively. Specifically, I use Google Voice in conjunction with Obihai products. This allows me to use normal phones in a way that is every bit as good or better than traditional land line service. The best part, of course, is that it doesn't cost me anything more than the cost of Internet access and equipment. It's basically free and can't be taxed (after all, 5.5% of nothing is nothing).

I coincidentally started using Google Voice around the time the UUT was enacted in 2009. There were a few hiccups early on, but it has definitely proven itself to be an incredible service and a huge money saver. I've saved well over a thousand dollars for phone service over the past 7-years.

Now some who are reading this might actually be paying for voice over Internet service as part of their AT&T or Comcast bundle of services. If this is what you're doing, allow me to suggest that you're doing it wrong.

If you've been coaxed into paying for VoIP service as part of a bundle to reduce your Internet access cost, you should reconsider your plan. Surrendering the package deal, in favor of just Internet access and utilizing a service such as Google Voice, is almost guaranteed to save you a ton of money.

OBi200 VoIp phone adapter
There may be other alternatives to Google Voice that might be just as good or better, but I can only recommend what I know. And I'm recommending Google Voice at this time, because I've become aware that Amazon will be having a lightning deal on the OBi200 VoIP phone adapter starting at 8 am tomorrow, Tuesday April 12th. You should be able to save over 25-percent off the regular price.

These deals happen occasionally, but not too frequently. So you might want to check it out.

And just in case you're wondering, no, I don't have any marketing affiliation with either Google or Obihai. I receive no benefit from recommending the service or product.

If you think I'm overly enthusiastic about this technology, check out the customer reviews on Amazon. There's big money to be saved.

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